Here’s a mid-week guest post from two relatively new but very enthusiastic KDE contributors: Filip Fila and Krešimir Čohar. You’ll probably recognize their names from prior blog posts because they’ve been doing a lot of great work lately! And they’d like to share the results of their first major project: refreshing the lock and login screens’ look-and-feel in the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.16 release.
Hi, we’re Filip and Krešimir, we’re new to KDE and we have been working on sprucing up the lock, login, and logout screens for Plasma 5.16. In this post we’ll be highlighting some of the key changes we made and why.
It’s no secret that we started out by toying with the idea of removing the blur effect from the login screen. On the other end of the extreme lay our so-called wallpaper fader, which would apply a lot of blur and darken wallpapers to the point that it was actually starting to look like a bug. So we decided on a compromise – tone down the fader effect and make the background pretty but with labels you can actually make out.
Improved visual hierarchy
Every single label on your login screen being 9pt is hardly ideal, and sometimes information just has to take priority. With that in mind, we’ve made:
- the usernames most prominent (12pt by default)
- followed by the login fields and action buttons (11pt by default)
…and the rest stays the same or gets bumped from 9pt to 10pt in the case of the login screen. It should be also be noted that the font sizes are modular now and that you even have the option to change the default font size in SDDM.
Yet another improvement is a new magnification effect for the user in focus – so you can be certain you’re logging into the right user account:
Instead of being glued-on icons with a label, action buttons now have some visual feedback. When hovering over them you’ll get a subtle transparent background and the text will also light up a bit:
Some of the icons have been reworked or replaced with new ones:
The login button has been simplified (because why have a really wide button with a label you have to translate?):
The end result should look like something like this:
We’ve had a lot of fun implementing all of these changes, our knowledge of Plasma and of computer science in general has increased by leaps and bounds, and the process and the results have been incredibly rewarding. We’re hoping that this login screen will stand the test of time and that it’ll also encourage others to contribute, because yes – it’s worth it.
Let us know if you have any comments or ideas regarding what we’ve been doing!